Blessed if you obey, cursed if you don’t. That’s the choice before the Israelites. Seems like an easy choice. Why can’t they do it? What makes it so hard?
They have to deny themselves. This doesn’t mean they have to give up every good thing, everything they like. It means that they have to trust God instead of trusting in themselves. They have to choose to serve God instead of themselves. They have to choose not to be their own god.
That’s it. That’s the sum of sin, us wanting to be our own god. It’s the sin of the garden. It’s the root of all sin. If you can sum up the law with “love God and others,” then you can sum up sin as wanting to be our own god.
God owns all things. We want it all. God controls the universe. We want the power. God can give and take away. We want to get and get rid of. God heals and destroys. We want to bless and curse like that in our own circumstances to our own satisfaction, advantage, and pleasure. God makes the rules. We want to make our own rules to live by.
And on and on…
Jesus is called the suffering servant, yet he never sinned. Surely the blessing can’t mean no troubles, no suffering.
The ultimate blessing is the presence of God. The ultimate curse is separation from God.
While there have been times when our family, from the outside, looked cursed to others, to us they were times of the biggest blessing. When we literally didn’t have two coins to rub together, we never lacked and saw miracle after miracle, watching with excitement at how the Lord would provide.
We’ve even had people say we were cursed because of our children with disabilities. But we know the blessing of how God has and is and will redeem it for our good and His glory.
It’s in our weakness that He is shown strong. We want the strength, the money, the power. We want it all. But then the glory is ours, even if we speak in platitudes about being blessed.
We need to be thankful for the suffering, for the humanness, for the trials and tribulations. Then God can show Himself strong and be glorified in and through our lives.